NH Politics

N.H. Primary 2014: Who Won, Who Lost, And Why

Sep 10, 2014
Emily Corwin / NHPR

We're looking at the results from yesterday's primaries for U.S. Senate, House, N.H. Governor, and statewide offices.


Sara Plourde / NHPR

We’re checking in New Hampshire’s primary races, two weeks before voting day.


Catherine Gregg, the wife of one New Hampshire governor and the mother of another, has died. She was 96.  Gregg, who died Friday at her home in Exeter, was the widow of former Gov. Hugh Gregg and the mother of former Gov. Judd Gregg, who also served as a congressman and U.S. senator.  Along with her husband, she was passionate about preserving New Hampshire's first-in-the-nation presidential primary, and was heavily involved in protecting the state's environment and cultural heritage.

Hassan Vetoes Workplace Anti-Bullying Bill

Jul 28, 2014
No Bully Zone
Paul Schreiber / Flickr Creative Commons

Governor Maggie Hassan has vetoed a bill she called “well-intentioned” aimed at protecting public employees from bullying in the workplace.  

The attack ads with the cartoon sheep began airing in May, followed by the negative mailers.

Paid for by a conservative nonprofit called Citizens for a Strong New Hampshire, they targeted Republican state senators who supported Medicaid expansion and a four-cent hike in the state gas tax. According to a spokesman, it was just the beginning of the group’s efforts to “fight” for a more fiscally conservative senate.

Emily Corwin for NHPR

Top Democrats rallied volunteers and worked the phones Monday in Portsmouth. Their goal was to call attention to the US Supreme Court’s “Hobby Lobby” ruling, which found a closely held company could not be forced to pay for all birth control procedures required by the Affordable Care Act.

Democrats hope Supreme Court rulings like the Hobby Lobby and the striking down of Massachusetts’s abortion clinic buffer zone law will motivate women voters, helping the party overcome certain challenges.

Sara Plourde for NHPR

The realscottbrownrecord.com highlights what the NH PAC to Save America calls Brown’s deceptive tactic of criticizing Democrat Jeanne Shaheen for doing what he also did– support policies favored by President Obama.

Brown has made Jeanne Shaheen’s fealty to the president a key part of his campaign, but PAC adviser Mike Dennehy says Brown needs to be held to account for the fact that Congressional Quarterly found he voted with the President 78 percent of the time in 2012.

Shaheen Fires Back At Critics Over Stock Allegations

Jun 27, 2014
Austin Cowan for NHPR

U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen fired back at critics Friday, a day after her campaign said she would update her financial disclosure form to reflect that she and her husband no longer hold stock options in a California firm that received federal stimulus funding.

Shaheen says her husband, William, is no longer affiliated with Ultrawave Labs, a company developing technology to better detect breast cancer.

“I think it’s disappointing that my Republican opponents...The only thing they can find to attack me on is breast cancer research."

Sen. Jeanne Shaheen and her husband, William, earned an average of more than $472,000 a year in pre-tax income between 2006 and 2013, according to federal tax returns released by Shaheen’s campaign Tuesday.

The couple's joint returns were made available four days after Republican Senate candidate Scott Brown and his wife, Gail Huff, released eight years of joint state and federal returns. Shaheen had pledged to release her returns if her opponents did the same.


The state's Ballot Law Commission won't delay a hearing on the residency of Republican candidate for governor Walt Havenstein.

The New Hampshire Democratic Party said Monday that it has filed a petition challenging Havenstein's claim that he's a legal resident of New Hampshire. The party says he was a resident of Maryland in 2010 and 2011, which would disqualify him from running for office here. Candidates for governor must live in New Hampshire for at least seven years.

Havenstein said he has owned a home and voted in New Hampshire for the past 15 years.

Gov. Maggie Hassan and a group of New Hampshire business representatives are on a trade mission in Turkey.  Jeffrey Rose, commissioner of the state Department of Resources and Economic Development, says Hassan's presence will help open doors to businesses seeking to connect with Turkish businesses. He says Turkey has emerged as an important market and is New Hampshire's 12th largest trading partner. New Hampshire sent $79 million in goods and services to Turkey last year.  The group is in Turkey until Friday.

NHPR/Josh Rogers

Republican Senate candidate Scott Brown released a trove of personal financial information Friday, including eight years of state and federal tax returns and a financial disclosure statement that showed before-tax income of more than $900,000 since the former Massachusetts senator left office in January 2013.

Bob Jagendorf Flickr CC

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, a potential presidential candidate in 2016, makes his first visit to the first-primary state when he comes to Manchester to campaign with Republican candidate for governor Walt Havenstein.

Christie, who is also chairman of the Republican Governor's Association, will first preside over an RGA finance meeting Friday afternoon then campaign with Havenstein at T-Bones restaurant in Bedford. He'll finish the visit with a private fundraiser in Atkinson.

Gov. Maggie Hassan has signed a law that strengthens the penalties for financially exploiting the elderly and other vulnerable New Hampshire citizens.

The bill signed Thursday establishes the crime of financial exploitation, which includes intentionally abusing the trust of an elderly or impaired adult to gain access to their money and assets. The law, which takes effect Jan. 1, makes it a crime to use the person's money or assets for personal gain rather than to provide them with food, clothing, shelter and other care.

Ben McLeod / Flickr Creative Commons

House Majority Leader Steve Shurtleff is announcing his candidacy to replace retiring House Speaker Terie Norelli.

The Concord Democrat is holding a news conference Thursday to announce his bid and outline some of his priorities if selected in December when the new Legislature organizes.

Mont Vernon Republican Bill O'Brien, Bartlett Republican Gene Chandler and Bedford Republican Laurie Sanborn also are seeking the leadership position. O'Brien and Chandler are former speakers.

Todd Bookman

Republican candidate for governor Walt Havenstein wants state election officials to rule on whether he meets the residency requirements to hold the office.

Immediately after filing paperwork to officially launch his candidacy against Gov. Maggie Hassan in Concord on Wednesday, Havenstein submitted a petition to the state Ballot Law Commission, asking for an expedited hearing on the residency issue.

On the Political Front this morning, NHPR's Josh Rogers talks about this year's legislative session, which wrapped up last week. 

Lawmakers passed some bills on contentious topics, but failed on others. And some notable names announced they won't seek office again.

The big bills that passed:

Legislative Roundtable: Reflections On 2014

Jun 9, 2014
Rachel James / Flickr/CC

We're sitting down with a panel of House and Senate leaders to look back on the year in the legislature. It was a year of victories for supporters of Medicaid Expansion, but of disappointment for casino backers and death penalty opponents.  And it ended with several major players announcing they’re getting out of the game and retiring from politics. 


Jimmy Emerson, Flickr CC

New Hampshire lawmakers have passed legislation that includes household pets in orders designed to protect victims of domestic violence.

Wednesday's vote sent the bill to the governor. It expands the orders to include pets in cases involving stalking and domestic violence. The bill would allow judges to grant custody of any domestic pets or farm animals to the victim and issue an order barring the abuser from harming or disposing of the animal.

Supporters argue abusers sometimes take their anger out on a pet or attempt to intimidate victims by targeting a pet.

Brian James via Flickr CC

The House and Senate have voted to tighten rules for table games operated in the name of New Hampshire charities.

Lawmakers voted Wednesday to send the governor a bill establishing new financial record-keeping and reporting requirements for charities and deeper background investigations by the attorney general.

The bill clarifies the definition of so-called redemption slot machines and the Racing and Charitable Gaming Commission's enforcement authority over them.

Josh Rogers

As he filed for office, Scott Brown said he was focused on the issues that matter.

“And what matters right now is making sure that people are getting  a good value for their dollars and they are not paying an exorbitant amount of many for their health care, and their medical care, obviously, and their energy prices.”

Todd Bookman / NHPR

House and Senate lawmakers have signed off on a Medicaid Enhancement Tax deal.

Lawmakers voted 278-72 in favor of the deal that settles a lawsuit with 25 New Hampshire hospitals.

The Senate later passed it on a voice vote, and it now heads to Governor Maggie Hassan’s desk.

Hassan and legislative leaders announced the settlement last week, with St. Joseph Hospital of Nashua the lone holdout.

Republican Representative David Hess of Hooksett says he may not be completely happy with the result, but the deal is better than nothing.

New Hampshire candidates competing in the September primary can now sign up to get on the ballot.

The filing period for state, county and federal offices opens Wednesday and ends June 13.

The primaries will be held Sept. 9. The general election is Nov. 4. This year's top contests include the governor's race, a U.S. Senate race and the two U.S. House races.

Gov. Maggie Hassan's office said canceling a planned trade mission to Turkey would cost taxpayers $10,000 and the private businesses that will accompany the governor would lose thousands more.

In a written response to a public-records request by the conservative nonprofit Citizens for a Strong New Hampshire, Hassan's chief of staff Pamela Walsh said "non-refundable travel arrangements" had already been paid for when the governor announced a freeze on hiring and out-of-state travel.

Sean Marshall via Flickr CC

Administrative Services Commissioner Linda Hodgdon said Tuesday that May's revenues were about $3 million below estimates, mostly because $2.6 million the state thought it would get during the month came in April instead.

Hodgdon said May is a small tax collection month and can't be used to pinpoint trends. She said officials will be better able to tell if a trend is developing once tax receipts are in for June, a significant tax collection month.

Josh Rogers

  NHPR's Brady Carlson talks with Boston Globe reporter Todd Wallack.

Republican U.S. Senate hopeful Scott Brown has been back on the campaign trail this week, but it's the former Massachusetts Senator's work outside of politics that's now getting a lot of attention.

Gambling Takes Center Stage In Congressional Race

Jun 2, 2014
Todd Bookman / NHPR

Casinos are shaping up to be a key issue in the 2nd Congressional District’s Republican primary.

At competing events Monday, several state representatives from Salem who back expanded gaming publicly endorsed GOP candidate Gary Lambert.

Meanwhile in Concord, anti-casino activists defended fellow Salem Representative Marilinda Garcia’s vote against a plan to legalize two casinos, despite overwhelming public support in her district.

House and Senate negotiators have reached agreement on changing when fuel dealers can contract with customers to buy fuel in advance.

The bill is in response to disruptions in home heating oil deliveries this winter by one of New Hampshire's largest fuel companies. The bill prohibits dealers from advertising or soliciting earlier than May 1 for consumers to enter into contracts for the upcoming fuel season. Currently, the contracts can't be offered before Jan. 1.

Consumers could sign contracts before May 1 at their request.

Daniel S. Hurd via Flickr CC

New Hampshire will seek a waiver from the federal government Friday hoping to get $275 million more in matching funds over five years for health care services provided by the state, county and local governments.

The joint legislative Fiscal Committee approved the waiver application Wednesday.

Jeffrey Meyers, director of intergovernmental affairs for the Department of Health and Human Services, said the federal government is not sharing the cost of about $80 million in annual health care spending in New Hampshire. The waiver asks the federal government to pitch in.

Sara Plourde

It was only a matter of time before Scott Brown’s involvement in a failed energy bill backed by Sen. Jeanne Shaheen would get the political-ad treatment.

Sure enough, on Thursday, the Senate Majority PAC launched a television spot that cites “news accounts” that Brown lobbied Senate Republicans to block the bill in order to deny Shaheen a legislative victory.

The 30-second ad is scheduled to run until at least June 4 on WMUR, at a cost of $224,000, as well as on some cable stations.